Russian author, born 1918, died 2008. Spent quite a while in TheGulag. Won a Nobel Prize in 1970, although he didn't collect it until 1974.
Would memorise a lot of his works in case the drafts were seized by the KGB. The seizure of ''The Gulag Archipelago'' (and suicide of the person who had it in her possession as a result of her arrest) forced him into early publication.
His career contains several striking comparisons to that of Creator/FyodorDostoevsky, particularly his embrace of Christianity after imprisonment in Siberia. He's a highly controversial figure among Russian patriots: many of them denounce him as one of the architects of TheGreatPoliticsMessUp and a "traitor and liar" (helped by the fact that [[MeaningfulName his name is based on the word stem]] "to lie"), but some sympathize with his conservative political views, though in the West criticism usually focuses on his borderline or actual anti-Semitic sentiments, and his critique of "democracy" (which he claimed led to the rise of the Russian oligarchs) and his romanticized and simplistic view of Russia's past.
His most famous works are:
* ''Literature/OneDayInTheLifeOfIvanDenisovich''- the first major account in the USSR of Stalinist repression.
* ''Literature/TheGulagArchipelago''- Major (and pretty accurate) account of the Soviet gulag system. This one got him kicked out of the Soviet Union. The original Russian title is a rhyme, ''Arkhipelag [=GULag=]''. Its impact on global politics was huge- the previously accepted view that Stalin was an aberration from Lenin's vision became seriously questionable and effectively destroyed those parties on the left who still supported Marxism-Leninism.
* ''The Cancer Ward'' - Life in a Cancer Ward in Soviet [[strike:Russia]] [[SovietRussiaUkraineAndSoOn Uzbekistan]].
* ''August 1914'' - The first novel in his Red Wheel series. Mostly revolves around the Battle of Tannenberg, with various other subplots.